Monday, January 01, 2007

The View from Castle Rock Alice Munro

Alice Munro is mostly known for her short stories. As she explains in her introduction, The View from Castle Rock differs from her other ten collections in that it is more personal. For several decades, she has been researching her Laidlaw ancestors and writing stories about their lives, imagining their experiences of immigration from Scotland and settlement in Huron County, Ontario. These stories comprise the first part of this collection. In the second part of the book, she collects stories about her grandparents, parents, and her own life. These stories are mostly true, but she asks that they be considered fiction as they are not always factual.

Because the stories are closely related, The View from Castle Rock seems much like a novel, especially in audiobook form. I listened to the 10 disc set read by Kimberly Farr and was not as aware of changing stories as I would have been with visual clues. I also enjoyed the oral history feel of the audiobook.

The View from Castle Rock might encourage some readers to study their own families.

Munro, Alice. The View from Castle Rock. New York: Knopf, 2006. ISBN 1400042828.

10 cd set. Santa Ana, California: Books on Tape, 2006. ISBN 1415932689

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